Modern Trends In Strength Training by CP

Modern Trends In Strength Training by Charles Poliquin.

As anybody used any of the programs listed in this book? If so what were your conclusions?

Yes I have it… good book
I tried “cluster method” - doing load 90% of 1RM for 5 times with 15 sec rest between reps and 5 min between sets… tried on squat and bench!
Doing squat with this method is pretty heavy, because you have to take the bar, do a swuat, and then again leave the bar on the rack. It is easyer if you have cage insteard of rack
doing bench press is easyer and fun… I think I broke my 1RM with this method… I suggest you should try it, becaus as Poliquin stated it allows to work more quick fibers… hope it helps. Cheers

Outstanding book, outstanding programs. Consistent, practical information.

The Cluster method: "the athlete will select a higher percentage of their 1 RM (90 percent or more) and perform a workout using the following loading parameters:

  • 5 intermittant repetitions with a 90 percent of 1 RM load, resting 10-15 seconds between repetitions. The athlete gifted with a higher percentage of fast twitch fibers would use the longer rest interval (15 seconds).

  • Multiple sets (typically 5 sets)

  • Rest intervals 3-5 minutes between sets

The athlete would execute a total of 25 repetitions at a mean intensity of 1RM in roughly 25 minutes."

"Therefore, Cluster training would provide the following advantages for the athlete:

  • Increased total training time under higher tension for the high-threshold fast-twitch fibers; a prerequisite for reaching hypertrophy of these selected fibers. This may seem contradictory to the concept of relative strength, but hypertrophy can be beneficial if it is done in the right motor units."

“strength and power athletes will want to pause in between reps so that they hypertrophy only the fibres that they need: the high-threshold fast-twitch fibers”

A sample of Jay Shroeder’s EDI bench press is using a certain pecentage of your 1 RM (I don’t know what that percentage is) or say 30% for example and then after you have lowered the bar till it touch’s the chest 3 spotters prevent the athlete from lifting the bar (they don’t push down on the bar but they prevent the bar from coming up) while at this same time the athlete is trying to push up as hard as he can. The athlete does this for 10 seconds at which point the spotters remove their hands and the athlete presses the bar to the starting point (at the top), then the athlete does 5 more reps at that same wt but this time without the spotters (in other words a regular bench press), then the athlete begins the cycle all over again but this time the spotters only hold the athlete down for 7 seconds after which he does 3 normal reps, then the cycle begins again but this time he is held down for 5 seconds and after the spotters let him go he finishes of his last rep.

The TUT is 40 seconds, the tempo varies but in the first rep in the first cycle is 1 10 1 0 but the next 5 reps have a tempo of 1 0 1 0. The second cycle has a 1st rep tempo of 1 7 1 0 and the next 3 reps have (the same tempo has the later reps in the first cycle) of 1010. The third cycle has a 1st rep tempo of 1 0 5 0 and has no more reps.

Okay, lets assume that CP is correct in his understanding of, “Increased total training time under higher tension for the high-threshold fast-twitch fibers; a prerequisite for reaching hypertrophy of these selected fibers.” Now how does this philosophy compare and contrast with Jay Shroeder’s EDI’s (EXPLOSIVE DYNAMIC ISOMETRIC). Shroeder describes his EDI’s as ,“In theory what is probably happening is that the weakest muscle fibers are getting fatigued and he’s calling upon more powerful muscle fibers in order to do the same job” (Freak of Training DVD).

So CP’s TUT is 80 seconds (assuming the rest interval of 15 seconds does not count bc the RI is to short) where as, Shroeder’s TUT is 40 seconds or half of CP’s program. Although CP’s program is longer it does include 15 seconds of rest. So the question is how does CP able to only fatigue the high-threshold fast-twitch fibers moreso then the slow twitch? I guess the simple answer is the one I get from CFTS pg 68, “Generally,the higher the tone, the greater the number of muscle fibres that are contracted and the fewer the number of fibres still available to contract. Individual muscle fibres are either contracted or they’re not contracted; there’s no in-between.” So I guess when you compare the two programs they both get a similar result in terms of hypertrophing the high-threshold fast-twitch fibres. If that’s the case then why take the 15 second rest intervals CP recommends?

I would like people’s opinions on this. The question I would pose is how much of a factor does this type of training take on a Sprinter. I guess the simple answer would be too much bc you need those muscle fibres for sprinting; yet, since weightlifting comes after sprinting and you do get 48 hours rest would it really matter? Too much CNS depletion?

Finally, CP’s contention of the hypertrophing of the high-threshold fast-twitch fibres brings the Fred Hatfield contention of fibre splitting or hyperplasia! In Hatfield’s original book called, “Power” he says that hyperplasia might be possible through CAT but his review of the laboratory analysis that was done on champion swimmers and animals states that, “high-speed/high-tension exercise is the only way to promote hyperplasia”.

Just a thought.

One caution I would mention when using methods like cluster training is that it places a very high demand on the CNS, because you’re doing many more reps at a given percentage of your 1RM than you normally would. Be very careful when combining this type of training with other CNS components. This type of training might be more appropriate during the early max strength phase of a short to long program, when there is less relative demands coming from the track work.

I heard of this EDI or the first time…
I think the mechanism of this method is post-tetanic potentation (see Enoka Neuromechanics of human movement)caused by isometric, so that the later 5 reps can be done in more potentiated state of muscles… The other issue is what is the speed of that 5 reps? 1 sec up, 1 sec down? 1 0 1 0? And the load? 30%? To little… I think this is not hitting the goal (hypertrophy of fast fibers)…

For cluster method…
The 15 sec rest allows you to rest your fast fibers, wich are recruted only with high loads (thats why 90% is used) so that there is greater load on them (and other fibers)… and this can stimulate their growth.
But one is sure…
This smells like Paralysis by analysis :slight_smile:

I will try to contemplate about this two methods, and try to visualise what happens… so I will post my results

BTW if you have Zatsiorskys book (Science and practice), look at the picture when he shows recruiting and fatigue patern during lifting and think of it… then try to imagine what happens to the fibers during EDI and Cluster method… I will try too… no time for that now!!!

I am sorry to say that you confused everything hehe Charlies statement have nothing to do with this issue, it is about other thing… Higher tone will give you greater elasticity during plyos and ground-hitting (because higher active stiffness in muscles) but on the other hand it will give you less power (because you can use less fibers wich wasnt active, and also the antagonist muscle is also active to maintaing zero torque in the joint, thats why it is usualy injured in lenghtening- higher tone of a muscle leads to a higher tone of his antagonistic muscle. This also leads to greater joint stiffness and stability).On the other hand, lower tone of muscle lead to lower reactive ability (lower active stiffnes) but greater power (more motor units aviable to contract) but it can also lead to injury because there is less active stabilisation around joind because less stiffness! So the answer is somewhere in the middle. So you need to warm-up to increase the tone (but not too much) and to use special massage techniques to maintain it in the optimal zone (for sprinting). On my opinion Charlie wanted to say this (but I cannot talk in his name, he should comment this)
I know this is out of topic, but I wanted to make this clear because Super you are confusing some thing… Hope I helped.